As long-time Ohio workers’ compensation lawyers, we understand that a hernia can be a debilitating injury that may prevent you from being able to work to support yourself and your family. It is critical to understand the injury you are dealing with and what type of compensation you may be due while you focus on your recovery.
Schedule a free consultation with Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill, Co., LPA, today to discuss your hernia injury and how we may be able to help.
What Is a Hernia?
The abdominal wall is made up of different muscle layers and tissues. A hernia occurs when the contents of a body cavity bulge out of the area where they are held. These contents may include the intestines or abdominal fatty tissue. Congenital hernias are present at birth, whereas acquired hernias may develop at any time.
Common types of hernias include:
Inguinal Hernias: These hernias are located near the inguinal canal in the groin area. The intestines push through tears or weak places in the lower abdominal wall. This is the most common type of hernia.
Diaphragmatic Hernias: These hernias are located near the chest cavity and occur when part of the stomach pushes upward through the diaphragm into the chest cavity.
Hiatal Hernias: This type of hernia occurs when part of the stomach pushes through the diaphragm. They can cause gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
Umbilical Hernias: Located near the belly button, these types of hernias happen when the intestines bulge through the abdominal wall.
A hernia in the abdomen or groin produces a noticeable lump or a bulge that can be pushed back in, or that disappears when you are lying down. Coughing, laughing, crying, straining during a bowel movement, or other physical activity may make the lump reappear.
Symptoms of a hernia include:
- A swelling or bulge in the groin or scrotum
- Pain that occurs while lifting
- A dull, aching sensation
- Pain at the site of swelling
- Increase in the bulge size over time
- Bowel obstruction
Patients who undergo hernia surgery will either be given local or general anesthesia. To correct the problem, the surgeon must reposition the herniated tissue. If strangulation of the tissue has occurred, doctors must remove the part of the organ that was starved of oxygen. Synthetic mesh or tissue will often be used to repair the part of the muscle wall that was damaged.
Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation for Hernia Injuries?
To be eligible for workers’ compensation, you must be able to prove that a hernia is work-related. You must be able to show that it was caused by an accident while performing your work duties or caused by work conditions. If a hernia is pre-existing, you need to show that the requirements of your employment substantially aggravated it. A substantial aggravation must be established with objective diagnostic findings, objective clinical findings, or objective test results. Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation for Hernia Injuries?
The types of workplace accidents that cause hernias usually occur from heavy lifting. One of the most common causes of hernias is the improper lifting or carrying of heavy objects in the workplace. This occurs when employees are not given proper guidelines, or they are not provided with the right equipment to do the job.
It is not always one act of heavy lifting that causes a hernia injury. Prolonged lifting of relatively small loads has the potential to cause a hernia. The body needs to recover between periods of strenuous work. Your employer should ensure lifting duties are rotated between the staff and that regular breaks are provided between lifting duties.
If you have suffered a hernia due to your job duties, you need to speak with our knowledgeable attorneys about filing a claim for workers’ compensation.
Proving a Hernia Injury Workers’ Compensation Claim
Hernia claims are considered the same as any other workplace injury claim, but it is easier to prove if the following occurs:
- A hernia came about due to a specific occurrence, such as lifting heavy objects or pulling on an object that is difficult to move.
- You experienced a sharp or burning pain at the time and were conscious of feeling that you strained something.
You need to provide documentation that your injury occurred. When it happens, you need to make notes on the following:
- Time and date of the injury
- The location and nature of the injury
- The supervisor who was working at the time you were injured
- What person you reported your injury to, when and how it was reported
- Which coworkers were present when your injury occurred
- What kinds of medical care you received after the injury, as well as the name and location of the medical care provider
Among the most common misconceptions is using the company doctor that is recommended after you are injured and need to be treated. Employees can choose their own doctor, so long as they are certified by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
Talk to a Workers’ Compensation Attorney About Your Hernia Injury
You may be entitled to benefits and compensation if you have suffered a hernia injury on the job and you are no longer able to work due to this injury.
The worker’s compensation attorneys at the law firm of Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill can help you pursue the benefits you deserve. We are extremely knowledgeable about the Ohio workers’ compensation system and will explain what to expect every step of the way. Our attorneys have a combined 200 years of legal experience in northeastern Ohio’s Mahoning Valley, including Youngstown, Akron, Warren, Salem, Ravenna, Kent, and Alliance.
We are ready to help you fight for the workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve. Contact us at 330-792-6611 to schedule your free case evaluation.